Rugby: Grayson out of England-France showdown

24th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, March 24 (AFP) - England flyhalf Paul Grayson has failed a fitness test and will miss Saturday's Six Nations decider against France in Paris.

LONDON, March 24 (AFP) - England flyhalf Paul Grayson has failed a fitness test and will miss Saturday's Six Nations decider against France in Paris.

England coach Clive Woodward said Olly Barkley, who was drafted into the team at the last minute for the 31-21 win over Wales last Saturday, would take the No 10 shirt.

The 32-year-old Grayson missed the Wales match because of a calf muscle injury which has failed to respond to treatment.

Barkley kicked 16 points in his first full start against Wales but the 22-year-old was not even in the squad to face France because Woodward said he was not experienced enough.

"Unlike last week, its important we make the change early to allow Olly the maximum time to prepare," Woodward said.

"Olly played very well in his first major test match at the weekend and we are very excited about seeing him step up to the plate once again against France on Saturday night, hence the early decision."

Barkley said: "Clive told me yesterday that there was every chance I would be starting. Im disappointed for Paul but delighted to be starting, especially with the advantage of having plenty of time to prepare for the match where I hope to improve further on my performance last Saturday."

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

 

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